Attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg Remarks on Insurer’s Suit to Avoid Defense in $25 Million Worker Death Case
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 17, 2014 – An insurance company is suing to avoid defending a worker death lawsuit.
The dispute arises from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a construction worker who was buried alive in a workplace accident. State National Insurance Company argues that it has no obligation to defend US-Sino Investment Incorporated, the construction company named as a defendant.
State National has filed a complaint in federal court, claiming that it owes no duty of indemnification to US-Sino or the owner, Richard Xin Liu. The 2012 accident killed Raul Zapata Mercado and led regulators to issue a suspension of the company's contractor’s license.
“Far too many workers are injured or killed on the job all across the country,” observed Robert Briskman, a Chicago work injury attorney. “In the case of a tragic death such as this one, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate to bring some compensation to the family of the victim.”
In January 2012, a 12-foot-deep trench collapsed on Mercado at a Milpitas, California construction site after a three-week period of heavy rain. Mercado's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company a year later, demanding $25 million, including an award of punitive damages.
In the current case, the insurer has pointed to several exclusions that deny coverage for injury claims by contractors or employees in its commercial liability policy with US-Sino.
Another lawsuit has been brought against US-Sino by the owner of the home where the accident took place, claiming that the company failed to resume work after the accident.
State National argues that its policy excludes coverage for both suits. In addition to the exclusion regarding employee actions, the insurer cited other similar clauses, including one for punitive damages.
The insurer also claims that the policy excludes claims arising from “subsidence,” which includes events such as earthquakes, landslides and other earth movements.
The lawsuit seeks court orders to establish that the two lawsuits do not give rise to an indemnity obligation from State National. The insurer is also seeking reimbursement for costs already incurred while defending the construction company in the litigation.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.
- Report reveals Chicago’s premature birth rate exceeds national average
Chicago scored a D in the March of Dimes 2015 ranking of pre-term birth rates in six large Illinois cities. The city has a premature birth rate of 10.4 percent in comparison to the United States’ overall rate of 9.6 percent. Joliet had the state’s lowest rate of 9.6 percent, while Peoria received an F ...
- Why registered nurses are more likely to identify drug errors in nursing homes
New research has found that registered nurses (RNs) are more likely than licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to evaluate and identify medication errors that could pose risks to nursing home residents. Researchers said carefully monitoring medication could help prevent almost 66 percent of all falls, hallucinations and other drug-related problems experienced by nursing home residents. The ...
- Injured workers claim retaliatory discharge
Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Illinois workers have a right to compensation, and employers are advised to be mindful of the potential liability they may confront in state court. There may be cases in which an employer would like to discharge an employee who has suffered an injury, or alleges to have suffered an ...
- Illinois Appellate Court rules police officer injured at home is entitled to compensation
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Appellate Court ruled in December that an injury sustained by a police officer while loading his duty bag into his car at home was compensable. The case involved the Bolingbook Police Department and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. One of the plaintiff’s job duties as a police officer included the safekeeping ...
- Families Sue Over Wrongful Deaths of Manufacturer Workers
This month, we look at a lawsuit where families claim a manufacturer failed to provide workers with safety equipment that could have prevented their deaths.